Approved contact text app for Microsoft Teams: Start a two-way SMS conversation from Teams

Approved contact text app for Microsoft Teams: Start a two-way SMS conversation from Teams

Approved Contact, the company behind the Microsoft Teams Text bot, was founded in 2015. Its ultimate goal is to enable collaboration and communication between systems, breaking down interoperability and environmental barriers. Approved Contact has a range of products for enterprise communications, including public meeting scheduling solutions, SMS integrations and tools for Microsoft, Cisco, Zoom and HCL software systems. The integration facilitates third-party messaging capabilities in Teams in partnership with your SMS/MMS provider.

Teams’ approved contact integration was released as part of the Office 365 suite in 2019, which received a major update in 2020. The company worked closely with Microsoft to redesign the UX in line with Teams, providing users with an almost native text experience.

In addition to Teams, Approved Contact’s products are available in the app markets of Cisco, Zoom and others.

Within the Microsoft Teams text app

Microsoft Teams’ text bot is called Syniverse to provide maximum flexibility when communicating with customers through Teams. Carrier-based text messages (SMS or MMS) remain the dominant channel for customer communication across industries. It helps you collect feedback, register complaints, and generally make your organization accessible to the widest possible audience. In places where connectivity may be spotty or in non-internet-based customer service use cases, SMS services are vital.

The Text app brings an amazingly native-looking texting experience to Microsoft Teams. Since Approved Contact is a recognized integration partner of Microsoft (recipient of the Top Startup award in the Microsoft ecosystem), the application works seamlessly and fits into other Microsoft Teams workflows. You can start by installing it from the Teams store. Here’s a quick overview of its key features:

  • Reply to SMS from Teams – This is the flagship feature offered by the Text app. The Syniverse SMS Connector delivers incoming text to the Teams interface using the Text bot. A phone number is assigned to the SMS connector. If someone sends an SMS to this number, it will be forwarded to the Microsoft Teams text bot. The bot delivers the message, ready to respond. The response is converted into an SMS/MMS message that is sent back to the originating number via the Syniverse Communication Gateway. Importantly, a message sent through Teams supports replies, which means the sender can continue the conversation.
  • Complete common tasks with text automation – The native text functions of Teams can help automate many tasks. Everyday use cases include texting to schedule video interviews, texting to post tickets, texting to create a sales call/visit, and more. In such cases, the bot works with the appropriate business applications and uses SMS to initiate automation workflows.
  • Connect enterprise applications with text messages – As mentioned, the approved contact text application effectively creates connections between Teams and the rest of the business environment. This is because the app provides a secure gateway between Teams and external systems that can be exploited in a number of ways.
  • Rent an approved text number – One of the most important features of the Text application is the use of a rented phone number. You can rent one or more SMS-capable numbers from your approved contact, and each number will be connected to a separate communication gateway.
  • Extend the reach of Teams to non-Teams users – This text is one of the most important elements of Microsoft Teams integration. Even if a user doesn’t currently have access to Microsoft Teams, doesn’t have access to the cloud, or doesn’t have the necessary connectivity, they can stay connected to Teams through traditional carrier-based messaging. This opens up Teams communications to a much wider audience, including partners who may be using other platforms and customers using their mobile phones.
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Why does texting an approved contact make a difference?

Text from an approved contact provides a simple solution to a key problem: how do you keep up with SMS-based communication requirements without leaving Teams? Teams users typically have to use either a contact center platform or a CPaaS API, which are more complex and costly. The text app offers a smarter, targeted alternative that doesn’t interfere with the rest of your Teams experience.

What we think

An app like Text has huge potential as barriers between different ecosystems break down and users expect last-mile connectivity across all devices.

You can start by downloading the app here.

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